I have shared a Manhattan recipe before, and it’s a great recipe. But it is also a few years old, and as I’ve aged, my tastes and understanding of cocktails have changed. In general, I now tend to prefer cocktails that are less sweet. The “perfect” Manhattan reflects that. The perfect Manhattan replaces half of the sweet vermouth with dry vermouth. It’s a simple substitution, but it makes the difference between a cocktail that coats your mouth, and one that’s easy to sip without feeling icky.
Perfect Manhattan (makes 2)
- 6 booze soaked cherries
- 1/2 oz cherry-soaked whiskey (or whatever your cherries are packed in)
- 4 oz rye, bourbon or other American whiskey (I prefer rye, Craig prefers Jack Daniels)
- 1 oz sweet vermouth
- 1 oz dry vermouth
- 4-6 dashes bitters
- Ice cubes
- Get out 2 coupe, rocks, or martini glasses
- Prepare your garnish. Spear 3 cherries on a cocktail stick. Place them into your glasses and set aside.
- Start building your cocktail in a sturdy glass. Combine the cherry liquid, whiskey, vermouths, and bitters in the glass. If I’m cooking around making cocktails, this step often takes a few minutes, making adding the ice at the end especially important.
- Add ice until the level of the ice reaches just past the top of the liquid.
- Stir. If you have one of those fancy cocktail spoons, use that (I have been meaning to add one to my amazon cart for quite some time.)
- The goal with the stirring is to make the liquor mixture cold. Once it feels very cold on the outside of the glass, pop a hawthorne strainer on your glass and strain the Manhattan into your prepared glasses.
This recipe is so easy to scale. It’s essentially 2 parts whiskey, .5 parts each sweet and dry vermouth, and a couple dashes of bitters, plus some cherries.